Courtesy of Mike Kwon
Prohibition’s former head bartender, Thomas McGuire, will be Nate Shuman’s second barkeep in command at Craft Izakaya, the sushi and yakitori spot in Krog Street Market. General manager Richard Tang says the three of them will create a playful beverage list that explores the molecular side of drinks and includes Asian spices and herbs.
Shuman previously worked at Proof & Provision, while Tang brings experience from Straits, Café Circa, and Chicken and the Egg, among other area restaurants. The trio will work closely with executive chef and owner Jey Oh—also owner of Sushi Huku in Sandy Springs—to serve Japanese Izakaya-style food and drinks come August 1.
Tang calls the focus of Craft Izakaya “drinking food.” “It’s all about the environment and socialization,” he says. A communal table will reside in front of the sushi bar, which looks out into the market, and while there’s no patio, the space will be casual, intended to attract a neighborhood crowd.
The menu of mostly small plates will include amberjack sashimi with jalapeno, salmon belly with warm tomato and roe over rice, spicy tuna with sour cream and masago roll, mini beef potato croquettes, chicken gizzard yakitori, and kimchi pork belly (see below for the full menu).
The drink list is still in the works, but Tang says to expect a potent bubble tea with alcohol-laden tapioca balls and traditional bubble tea packaging (big straw, plastic top, and all). The team is also considering bottling their own carbonated drinks, making cocktails in the rocks rather than on the rocks, as well as sous vide cocktails.
For the first month and a half, Craft Izakaya will serve dinner only. After that, lunch and weekend brunch will be offered. The 84-seat restaurant will not accept reservations except for a special tasting menu available at the sushi bar.
The space itself will be designed with an Asian flair and “somewhat risqué” art, Tang says, with wood and metal elements and ambient lighting. The staff will not have uniforms and will each don a different colored armband similar to the red or black belts worn in martial arts.